Gambling Addiction – LudomaniaCompulsive Gambling can be overcome – Ask now for free advice
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By Dr Mike Webberley MBChB FRCP MD | GMC no. 2620107
I am a Consultant Physician with special interests in General Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and liver disease. I can give advice on any medical matter, and I offer safe access to medical advice, prescription medication, blood tests and x-rays, and specialist referrals to your local private hospital as needed.
Compulsive Gambling and Addiction
You’ve found your way here so have made the first step towards tackling any gambling addiction. Gambling addictions are far more common than is realised, and can lead to loss of jobs, failed relationships and severe debt.
For some gamblers, the addiction is to the endorphin rush or high which is created by the body when you gamble, and medical treatment can reduce this rush and therefore stop the reward the body receives from gambling behaviours.
Naltrexone is a drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984. It has since been used to treat alcohol and drug addiction. In 2016 studies have proven the drug can be used for treating gambling addiction.
Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a researcher from National Problem Gambling Clinic, said: ‘The medication is used to stop the most compulsive gamblers who are resistant to treatment. It helps stop craving.’
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have a gambling addiction?
There are different theories into why people become addicted to gambling, to release anxiety or for the ’rush’ and the ‘high’. An addictive personality will also influence how addicted someone can become.
There are also those who ‘chase their loses’, trying to make back what they have lost by betting more and more each time.
Does gambling effect my health?
Gambling addiction can have a serious effect on your mental health. It can cause depression, anxiety, mood disorders and anti-social personality disorder. This can lead to sleepless nights and the possibility of turning to other substances like alcohol and drugs not counteract this.
What else do I need to do?
Before treatment can be started, it is really important that you are committed to reducing your gambling or stopping altogether. This will often require the full support of your family while you embark on treatment, but also continued support from charities and also even cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), counselling and hypnotherapy. Treatment will last at least 12 months but longer if necessary.
Are there tablets to stop me gambling?
Yes, fortunately there is a new type of medication called Naltrexone that can be taken to stop the cravings of gambling. Naltrexone tend to be safe with very few unpleasant side effects and are often very effective. They need to be taken under medical supervision.
Gambling addiction dangers
- Increased rates of unemployment
- Fraud and check forgery
- Forced home sales
- Increased alcohol and drug abuse
- Poor mental and physical health of the addict
Social effects of gambling addiction
While the addict will definitely suffer, the family also faces challenges when there is a gambling addiction. Family members suffer physical and psychological abuse. More than 85 percent of families with a gambling addict have reported receiving threats from creditors and bill collectors.
There is also an increased rate of divorce. In the United States, 65 percent of couples that consist of one spouse with a gambling addiction, end up divorced. There is also an extreme amount of stress placed on the family to repay debts and bills that the addict has accumulated as a result of gambling. Research has shown that three out of five gambling addicts have a family with children.
The children also suffer the effects of the addiction in many ways, including:
- Experiencing physical and emotional abandonment.
- Children of gambling addicts are commonly left in cars while their parent gambles. This causes the child to miss out on the nurturing they should be receiving.
- Children of gambling addicts are often verbally, physically and mentally abused by the person with the addiction.
- Children of gambling addicts have a very high chance of developing a gambling addiction later in life. Out of the people who have a gambling addiction, more than half have stated that their parents were also addicts.
Credit Rehab International
How Naltrexone Drug Works
In order to work, addictive behaviours stimulate certain brain receptors to produce chemicals that give a euphoric feeling. Naltrexone is attracted to the same receptors. Once it has latched on to them, the body’s natural endorphins have no effect and negate the ‘high’ feeling that makes users want to undertake these behaviours.
Researchers showed that the drug, naltrexone, which the FDA approved for alcoholism in 1995 and for drug addiction in 1985, was able to reduce gambling urges in almost 75 percent of the 20 people in the study. – ABC News
A patient, 56, said the drug has significantly cut his urge to gamble.
“I was gambling regularly in casinos throughout the state, and I just realized that if I kept doing what I was doing, eventually, I would be dipping into my business and my nest egg,” he said. “I went to GA [Gambler’s Anonymous] a couple of times and that really didn’t help.”
Taking the drug, he says, reduced his desire to gamble. He was able to go to a casino recently with his friends to “hang out.” He didn’t feel the need to place a single bet.
“It’s amazing, I can’t explain it,” he said. “It’s not that I don’t think about [gambling], but I have no real desire to go anymore.”
“I guess one of the reasons why GA has such low success rates is because these gamblers are very impulsive people,” said Keith Whyte, executive director for the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington, D.C. “It’s hard even just to get many of them to a meeting.”
I suggest that this is just one of the reasons why this drug has proven to be so effective for the treatment for gambling addiction.
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Whether you know what treatment works for you or you need advice on what you should take,
ask me here about safe prescriptions to help with your condition.
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Please note that this service does not aim to replace advice given to you by your own doctor, it is meant to supplement your health knowledge and awareness.
It is never to be used in the case of a medical emergency.
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